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Car Usage

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Nearly six in ten (56.9%) of over 18 year olds travel by car at least 5 times a week, while one in eight (12%) makes a journey by car 1 to 2 times a week, and 14% do so 3 to 4 times a week. See Table 13.1 and Figure 13.1.

Table 13.1 Frequency of car usage by sex and age group, 2019

Frequency of car usage
1 to 2 times a week12
3 to 4
a week
At least 5 times a week56.9
Less than
but more
than once
a month
Less than
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Respondents were asked for their reasons for choosing to travel by car. Family/child related activities was cited by just over one in five (21.5%), while more convenient and no alternatives were cited by 20.9% and 20.8% respectively. A further 19.6% said that it allowed them greater freedom. See Table 13.2.

Table 13.2 Reasons for travelling by car by sex and age group, 2019

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Respondents were asked what factors would encourage them to drive more in the future. Improved traffic congestion was one of the most common factors cited (23.2%), followed by better access to parking at destinations (17.9%) and less expensive costs (16.6%). Improved health or disability management was cited most by persons aged 75 years and older – 16.9% of males and 15.2% of females in this age cohort cited this factor. Nearly four in ten (38.6%) females aged 18 to 24 years said that easier access to owning or using a car would encourage them to drive more, compared to 31.5% of males in this age group. See Table 13.3 and Figure 13.2.

Table 13.3 Factors that would encourage more driving by sex and age group, 2019

For family/child related activitiesImproved traffic congestionBetter access to parking at destinationsLess expensive costsEasier access to own or use a carGetting a driving licenceImproved health or disability managementBeing able to drive more confidently
Factors that would encourage more driving38.223.217.916.610.

Go to next chapter: Background Notes